The band confirmed via a statement that he had died following "a short cancer disease". He was 73 years old. Synth band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark wrote: "We are absolutely devastated to learn that one of our heroes Florian Schneider has passed away".
A musical polymath who had mastered a variety of instruments at a young age, Schneider was known for his scintillating synthpop beats that helped shatter boundaries and earned him the nickname "sound fetishist" by Kraftwerk vocalist Hütter.
Hütter told in 2009 that Schneider "worked for many, many years on other projects: speech synthesis, and things like that".
Schneider's tools included the electric flute, violin, electric guitar and synthesizer.
Autobahn (1974) was a surprise worldwide hit and the band's most memorable, a tone poem evoking the sonic monotony of cruising down Germany's sleek motorways with the sounds of doppler-shifted vehicle horns and badly-tuned radios. Kraftwerk are the creators of the electro.
Kraftwerk is credited heavily to have transformed the sound of pop music forever.
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Kraftwerk - whose major albums include "Autobahn, ' "Trans-Europe Express" and 'The Man-Machine" - were honored in 2014 with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.
David Bowie was an outspoken fan of Kraftwerk and Schneider in particular, naming his 1977 Berlin-era track V-2 Schneider after the musician.
Schneider left the group in 2008 for undisclosed reasons, and maintained his privacy in his retirement.
Before Florian's death, Kraftwerk had announced that the band would be embarking on a 50th-anniversary tour of North America, but the shows canceled due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
France's legendary Jean-Michel Jarre also hailed Schneider: "My dear Florian Your Autobahn will never end".
Florian Schneider is at the rear, Karl Bartos, Ralf Hutter (front) and Wolfgang Flur.